Letters from Mesopotamia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about Letters from Mesopotamia.

Title:  Letters from Mesopotamia

Author:  Robert Palmer

Release Date:  January 23, 2006 [EBook #17584]

Language:  English

Character set encoding:  ASCII

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Lettersfrom Mesopotamia

In 1915 and January, 1916,
from Robert Palmer, who
was killed in the battle of
Um el Hannah, June 21, 1916
aged 27 years


* * * * *

He went with a draft from the 6th Hants to reinforce the
4th Hants.  The 6th Hants had been in India since November,

* * * * *

    War deemed he hateful, for therein he saw
    Passions unloosed in licence, which in man
    Are the most evil, a false witness to
    The faith of Christ.  For when by settled plan,
    To gratify the lustings of the few,
    The peoples march to battle, then, the law

    Of love forgotten, men come out to kill
    Their brothers in a hateless strife, nor know
    The cause wherefor they fight, except that they
    Whom they as rulers own, do bid them so. 
    And thus his heart was heavy on the day
    That war burst forth.  He felt that men could ill

    Afford to travel back along the years
    That they had mounted, toiling, stage by stage—­
    —­A year he was to India’s plains assigned
    Nor heard the spite of rifles, nor the rage
    Of guns; yet pondered oft on what the mind
    Experiences in war; what are the fears,

    And what those joys unknown that men do feel
    In stress of fight.  He saw how great a test
    Of manhood is a stubborn war, which draws
    Out all that’s worst in men or all that’s best: 
    Their fiercest brutal passions from all laws
    Set free, men burn and plunder, rape and steal;

    Or all their human strength of love cries out
    Against such suffering.  And so he came
    In time to wish that he might thus be tried,
    Partly to know himself, partly from shame
    That others with less faith had gladly died,
    While he in peace and ease had cast a doubt,

    Not on his faith, but on his strength to bear
    So great a trial.  Soon it was his fate
    To test himself; and with the facts of war
    So clear before him he could feel no hate,
    No passion was aroused by what he saw,
    But only pity.  And he put all fear

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Letters from Mesopotamia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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